In Barre, Vermont, Patrol Officer Zak Winston, 34, is facing a bizarre criminal charge that he first stole his neighbor’s television from under her Christmas tree and then, after police came to his house, tossed the TV into the Winooski River.
Winston insists that he is innocent. His boss, Police Chief Timothy Bombardier is investigating, but has insisted that it remains a personnel matter. It is also a criminal matter and it is unclear why it is still viewed as a personnel matter after an arrest.
Winston had reportedly been drinking that morning at an Irish bar. The neighbor, Denise Matheson, 35, called police to say that a man had entered her apartment and stole her new 42-inch LED flat-screen TV from under her Christmas tree. Officers found the box outside of Winston’s apartment door, but Winston refused to let them enter without a warrant. He eventually agreed to a search but asked for them to wait for him to check his baby. One of the officers behind the building then allegedly saw Winston attempt to throw a TV off the balcony of his apartment and into the river.
That is a pretty damning report, but Winston told the court that he is completely innocent. Of course, this is not the first time that someone was accused of such thefts at Christmas but he ultimately returned the goods rather than tossed them over a cliff as intended.